BLE Reports Continued Growth

Following marked growth in 2012, Brand Licensing Europe saw an additional 5 percent growth in visitor attendance in 2013, as well as increase in attendance by retailers and overseas visitors.

Held last month in London, BLE 2013, which is organized by Advanstar Licensing, hosted 7,244 retailers, licensees and sales promotion professionals from 69 countries at this year’s show, with total attendance reaching 9,537, making it the most successful show in the event’s 15-year history. Attendance figures for the event are BPA audited.

Retail attendance increased again this year by 5 percent with buyers from Auchan, Asda, BHS, ASOS, Carrefour, Debenhams, Cortefiel, Fenwicks, Harrods, H&M, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, Wilkinsons, Waterstones and more walking the floor.

Overseas attendance also increased again. One in three visitors came from outside the U.K., making this the most international BLE to-date.

BLE debuted a redesigned floor layout this year, and was also the subject of high-profile media coverage on Sky, BBC Radio Five Live and in The Telegraph, The Independent and other business titles. The keynote address–Angry Birds: How Rovio Disrupted the Entertainment Industry–drove much of this PR and more than 230 people attended the speech in person to hear Rovio announce the launch of its first free-to-play game, “Angry Birds Go!.”

“To think that there were 29 percent more visitors to BLE this year than in 2011 is startling. It’s indicative of two great strengths of the licensing industry: First that there are always people coming to the industry afresh, with new ideas, new brands, new products and new retail space. Second that licensing across Europe is holding up in a very challenging economic climate,” says Darren Brechin, event director, BLE. “We worked very hard this year to make the new layout a success and will continue to dig deep into the three vertical categories to bring new companies and new people to BLE, and to ensure we give our visitors and exhibitors what they need and want from the show.

Plans for BLE 2014, which will take place Oct. 14-16, 2014, are well under way with 70 percent of the show floor already sold. For more information visit BrandLicensing.eu.

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